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Today is International Picnic Day!

Date: Fri, Jun 18, 2010 Winery Blogs

How will you celebrate? Perhaps under the shade of a tree, baskingin the sunat alush meadow or on your unmowed lawnin your backyard(like me)? Picnics are all about the food, company, and of course, the perfect wine to pair.

We've suggested wines to pair with barbecue before, but picnic wines are different. Barbecue is all about bold and spicy, while picnics are lighter. Think about all the famous picnic foods and you'll realize most of the foods are cold- potato salad, cheese and crackers, veggie sticks, lunch meats and baquettes, cold fried chicken, and ripe seasonal fruit. So what are the best pcinic wines? I would strongly recommend that you think cool, crisp, and white/rosé or a light red.

Picnic fare is all about the ease and travelability. The food has to survive the time and transportationit takes to get to the picnic area and not be too messy. Crisp, delicious white wines are a must in these situations! You can buy freezer sleeves that can slide over bottles to keep them cool so you don’t have to worry about carrying ice or a cooler with you. Our 2008 Pinot Grisis agood choice with flavors of fresh green apple and tropical fruits. Our 2008 Dijon Clone Chardonnay and 2008 Dry Riesling are good choices as well. They are bright, acidic, and loaded with crisp fruit and minerality. Lighter white wines like this make the food come to life while refreshing your palate.
Rosé wines are among my all-time favorite summertime sippers. They are so versatile that they are a must-pack with your picnics. They are served chilled, just like white wines, so slide a freezer sleeve over this wine too. Our 2008 Pinot Noir Rosé offers delicious summer flavorsofstrawberry, watermelon, and grapefruit.

Light Reds
What do I mean by light red wines? You don’t want to pack your 16% alcoholsyrah in your picnic because it will overpower the foods you packed. A better fit is something that isn't so heavy and has less alcohol. Pinot Noir fits the bill. Both our 2008 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, what we've termed "liquid fruit salad in a glass"and our 2008 Pinot Noir are nice selections.

Our winery has gorgeous views of the valley, so pack your picnic and come join us (I'm relocating my picnic from my yard to our well-manicured picnic area or deck). We've got the wine covered!

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We're a Favorite Place on Google!

Date: Wed, Jun 16, 2010 Winery Blogs

We received a letter from Google congratulating us on being a "Favorite Place on Google." Between December 1 and February 28th, we were one of the most popular local businesses on Google, as measured by how many times people found our business listing, and clicked on it for more information.

We were less than 250,000 businesses in the U.S. to receive this recognition; thats less than 1% of all U.S. businesses. Now that we were notified, Google sent us a window decal that includes a special bar code- known as a QR code- that customers may scan with cameras on their smartphones. When you scan the code, it'll pull up a mobile version of the Place Page for our business, where you can read our reviews, find coupons, and add us as a personal favorite.

Our decal is located on the window in our Tasting Room.

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10 Great Northwest Tasting Rooms

Date: Wed, Jun 16, 2010 Winery Blogs

So much great news today! Our Tasting Room was rated one of the '10 Great Northwest Tasting Rooms' according to Wine Press Northwest in their Summer 2010 issue!

WPN writes, "If you're wine touring, tasting room ambiance and amenities mater almost as much as the wine. Here are 10 wineries that take special care of their guests."

Willamette Valley Vineyards- Jim Bernau purchased the beautiful property in 1983 and launched the winery six years later. It has developed into one of Oregon's largest and most respected wineries. The tasting room, south of Salem on Interstate 5, is a great place to taste and enjoy the views.

Come and experience our Tasting Room for yourself daily 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.

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Blending Trials

Date: Wed, Jun 16, 2010 Winery Blogs

The winemakers are getting all set up to do 2009 Pinot Noir blending trials this morning.

What is the blending process like? Check out our video from last year's 2008 Pinot Noir blending.

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Trilogy Returns to the Allison with Special Host

Date: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 Winery Blogs

From the Newberg Graphic:
Trilogy returns; Molzahn is host

Wine country — ‘The Bachelor’ finalist will host food, wine and art event

By: David Sale

“Trilogy,” the festival of food, wine and art, will return this summer with a special guest host — Tenley Molzahn, local star of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

Molzahn will return to the Allison Inn, scene of her hometown date with bachelor Jake Pavelka, and members of “Team Tenley” will have the chance to get up close and personal with the reality TV star.

“Tenley is a true modern-day princess,” said Sheryl Kelsh, executive director of the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce. “Her real-life story mirrors the trials and happy ending of a quintessential fairytale.”

Although she may not have taken the final rose, Molzahn won the affection of viewers in Newberg and across the nation — and is rumored to be returning to TV as the star of “The Bachelorette.”

On June 25, she will host a four-course winemakers’ dinner prepared by chefs from The Joel Palmer House, Farm to Fork, The Allison’s own Jory restaurant and Sweetest Thing Cupcakes, with wine pairings by Willamette Valley Vineyards, Elk Cove Winery, Erath Winery, Rex Hill and Lange Estate Winery.

Later that evening, the Artist Quick Draw features a live demonstration and question-and-answer with 18 local artists, including Ramona Youngquist, Michael Orwick, Shannon Ray and Susan Day, working in a variety of mediums.

The pieces created by the artists will then be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce. For sales, call 503-538-2014.

Tickets to the dinner and auction are $125 per person, but the event continues — at a more modest price — from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Oakhurst Thoroughbred Farm, 18715 N.E. Highway 240. It will feature food, wine and art from more than 60 regional vendors. For more information, visit http://trilogywinemakersdinner.com/.

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10 Chefs, 10 Pigs, One Crown - Grand Cochon

Date: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 Winery Blogs

Pinot and pork is a much celebrated combination and so is the amazing Aspen Food &Wine Classic. Join us for Grand Cochon Sunday, June 20th during the festival.

Cochon 555 (5 Chefs, 5 Pig, 5 Winemakers) searched the national chef community in 2010, hoping to find one chef to celebrate as the "King / Queen of Porc". In ten markets, 50 celebrated chefs known for whole pig utilization competed for a local title and the chance to participate at Grand Cochon during the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
Grand Cochon will be hosted by Gail Simmons of Top Chef and Brady Lowe of the Taste Network. Chefs will each prepare dishes from a whole heritage-breed pig in this "head to toe" competition. The winner will be determined by guests and a panel of esteemed judges. The event is open all food enthusiasts wishing to purchase a ticket.

Devin Knell / French Laundry - Napa
Corwin Kave / Fatty Crab, Fatty Cue' - New York
Matt Jennings / Farmstead Inc. - Providence
Scott Romano / Charlie Palmer at the Joule - Dallas
Sean Brock / McCrady's Restaurant - Charleston
Matt Steigerwald / Lincoln Cafe - Mt. Vernon, Iowa
David Varley / Bourbon Steak - Washington D.C.
Jason Barwikowski / Olympic Provisions - Portland
Staffan Terje / Perbacco - San Francisco
John Sundstrom / Lark - Seattle
Don't miss this chance to help us nominate the 2010 "King of Porc" and support local farms raising heritage breed pigs. The winner takes home The Grillworks' 42" Asador.

VIP Reception includes reserve wines and artisan cheese and will feature Food & Wine Winemaker of the Year, Charles Smith along with snacks from the American Lamb Board.

  • - taste winning dishes from chefs around the country
  • - sip fine wines from top producers from around the world
  • - enjoy a beer tasting from Stella Artois
  • - watch a butcher demonstration with Ryan Farr and heritage pig farmer Mark Newman
  • - eat grilled lamb and a pork perfect dessert right before the award ceremony

  • "2009 Food & Wine Winemaker of the Year" Charles Smith of K Vintners
  • Miner Family Vineyards
  • Buty Winery
  • Steltzner Vineyards
  • Robert Sinskey Vineyards
  • Sokol Blosser Winery
  • Willamette Valley Vineyards
  • Gamble Family Vineyards
  • Ladera Vineyards
  • Prince Edward County Wines from Canada
  • New Zealand Wines
Hotel Jerome Aspen, 330 East Main Street, Aspen, CO 81611

Tickets are $125 GA / $175 VIP

For more information visit, http://stayaspensnowmass.com/Grand-Cochon

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White House Salmon Bake Today

Date: Tue, Jun 8, 2010 Winery Blogs

Long-time guest chef and board member of the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC)Jason Stoller Smith will represent the Pacific Northwest regiontoday at theWhite House Picnic for 2000 people. The Picnic will highlight regional cuisines spanning the country. Inspired by the IPNC Salmon Bake, Daniel Shanks, White House Usher responsible for Food and Beverage, suggested that the First Lady invite chef Stoller Smith to recreate the Salmon Bake on the White House Lawn. The Pacific Northwest Salmon Bake will be a visual centerpiece and will be located on the South Lawn near the Oval Office.
Here is a picture Stoller Smith posted on Facebook of today's activities:

The Northwest Salmon Bake is a long-standing tradition of the IPNC. We are thrilled for Jason Stoller Smith and are thankful that Daniel Shank’s experience at the IPNC resulted in the Salmon Bake being a part of this regional celebration on the White House Lawn.
Don’t miss the exciting chance to enjoy the Salmon Bake for yourselfwhile celebrating alongside 69 domestic (including us) and international Pinot Noir winemakers from 11 regions and over 50 northwest chefs at the 24th Annual IPNC! Tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis and may be purchased via phone at 800.775.IPNC or online at http://www.ipnc.org/. Only 100 tickets remain.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

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Out Rolls the 2008 Estate!

Date: Fri, May 28, 2010 Winery Blogs

This weekend is the highly anticipated release of our 2008 Estate Pinot Noir. It has been a whirlwind around the winery this week (or the past three months) getting this wine ready. First, there is a new, beautifully designed label and foil. But, we didn't get those new labels until yesterday! So, the labeling line has been busy today labeling and foiling. Alas, the wine isall setto go and will be availableto tasteat the Estate, Wine Center and Tualatin Estate Tasting Rooms tomorrow! Thank goodness.

This bottle was the 2nd off the line and with a little finagling I got to send it home with two great guests, Jill and Josh from The Oregon Wine Blog.

I'm so proud of the new label and I was literally beaming showing it off to Jill and Josh. Itwas a true collaboration in the Marketing department, with much of the credit belonging to Matt, our webmaster/designer/marketinggenius. It will be used on all our single vineyard designates as well as Signature Cuvée. I can only imagine what the winemakers go through when a wine is out of their hands, especially a wine as great as this.

To get your hands on a bottle,visit our Memorial Day Weekend Open House from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

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Oregon wine industry takes greater leap, WVV ready for ‘tall order’ in Hong Kong

Date: Fri, May 28, 2010 Winery Blogs

(Turner, Ore. – May 28, 2010) – Willamette Valley Vineyards, a leading Pinot Noir producer in Oregon, is pleased with Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s recent agreement with the Hong Kong Commerce and Economic Development Bureau to promote the sale of Oregon wines in Hong Kong and throughout all of China.

Erik McLaughlin, National Sales Director at WVV, is currently in Hong Kong accompanying representatives from the Governor’s office. McLaughlin was invited to join the delegation as a representative from the Oregon wine industry. He noted that Hong Kong is the most dynamic and rapidly growing wine market in the world.
“US exports to Hong Kong have increased five fold in just the past few years,” McLaughlin said. “Hong Kong has just overtaken London to be the No. 2 wine auction market in the world (after New York). It is remarkable that the government in Hong Kong has chosen to partner with Oregon and Washington with the signing of the wine specific MOU (Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in Wine-related Business) rather than other regions of the US or the world.”
According to the press release issued by the Governor’s office on Monday, May 24, Governor Kulongoski said: “Hong Kong has opened its door to the wine industry and Oregon is the first on their doorstep to take advantage of this opportunity with a formal agreement. With this agreement, we now have a concerted effort to tap into the purchasing power of Hong Kong and all of China, which will create more business opportunities for Oregon’s wine industry.”
Jim Bernau, Founder and President at WVV, said he is also thrilled with what the recent agreement could mean for future wine sales. Since entering the Hong Kong market in August 2009, the winery has sold nearly 160 cases of its Pinot Noir, Whole Cluster Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Additionally, the 2007 Riesling earned the only Gold Award for food and wine pairing at the 2009 Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Competition.

“The President’s call for doubling exports in the next five years is a tall order, but with positive market changes for imports in places like Hong Kong there is a great opportunity for growth,” he noted.

In May, President Barack Obama’s Administration asked the Export-Import Bank to increase export financing for small business by more than a third, to $6 billion, this year. The goal is to double American exports by 2015. Large business dominates exports: The top 500 U.S. exporters accounted for 60 percent of the $1.2 trillion in exported goods in 2007, the latest period for which such figures are available.*
Scott Goddin, Director of the Portland Export Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, explained there were 6,000 Oregon firms involved in export in 2008. Goddin said it is estimated that 88 percent of these companies are small firms (less than 500 employees). Breaking the numbers down even further, of that 88 percent, he added that likely 90 percent are companies with 50 employees or fewer.
Willamette Valley Vineyards’ wines are distributed by Golden Gate Wine in Hong Kong.

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Saving the Economy... one Oregon wine at a time

Date: Thu, May 27, 2010 Winery Blogs

Very interesting video: U.S. Commercial Service Market Brief with Doug Barry.

"I'll Try the Reds: Selling Oregon Wine in China."

Look for our Founder/Winegrower, Jim Bernau in the right hand box!

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An Inside Look at a Spanish Barrel Manufacturer

Date: Thu, May 27, 2010 Winery Blogs

Daniel Shepherd, our cellar master, just got back from a tour of Spain and Portugal. In this video, he gives us an inside look of a Spanish barrel manufacturer.

There are more videos to come of Daniel's adventures!

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Will Pedal for Wine - Bike Ride and Hill Climb Challenge

Date: Tue, May 25, 2010 Winery Blogs

Sunday morning may have been drizzly, but that didn't stop 200 bikers from participating in our first annual Bike Ride and Hill Climb Challenge!

Bikers had the option of a scenic 50, 25, or 10 mile ride starting at Cloverdale Elementary and finishing up at the winery.

Ready, Set, Go!

Pedaling in Oregon wine country (probably thinking they are ready for some wine!).

One final push!

Hill. Conquered!

After the ride, bikers enjoyed a fajita bar and wine tasting at the winery.

Overall, the ride was fantastic and much of that has to do with the great organization by our event coordinators, Wende Bennette, Sarah Kammerer and Becky Rochester. We've had a flood of positive feedbacksince the ride, saying:

  • "Welcoming, courteous, friendly and solicitous staff. No exceptions. Everyone I encountered exuded warmth and a desire to help or welcome me."
  • "Great and generous end-of-ride meal, drink, entertainment, gift bag and setting."
  • "It was nice having shuttle bus, especially going up that hill!"
  • "Nice, scenic, and low traffic route for the 50 mile ride."
  • "Having a SAG wagon was nice. The driver was great in stopping to see if we were OK when we were stopped on the road. He was great in directing us at an intersection where there were no markings or signs and was not in the printed directions."
  • "I had a GREAT time and definitely would participate again and tell my friends about you and your winery. I think you guys excel in hospitality!"

We are looking into hosting another ride soon (possibly in the Fall), and for sure next year! Thanks to all the riders who enjoyed the day with us.

Photos courtesy of Lisa O'Bannon and The Statesman Journal

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Pears Poached in Riesling

Date: Tue, May 25, 2010 Winery Blogs

A lovely Facebook fan, Ginger Livingston Sanders, posted this to our fan page and it looked so delicious I had to share with the world:

Pears Poached in White Wine

I am very fond of Rielsings, Willamette Valley Vineyards is my favorite (both their dry and regular). If you can't find it then try Chateau St. Michelle, unless you already have a favorite.

These are pretty easy to make and a very nice thing to do for guests or just to treat yourself. When I made it, I cut in half and made just two for Jerry and I.

Really, I'm trying to figure out how to make that scent into a perfume, because I sit around and think of stuff like that.

2 cups sweet white wine (I used Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling)
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 pears, peeled with stems left intact
2 cups granulated sugar

In a pan large enough to hold the pears, One with high sides, mix the wine, water, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon together. Over medium-high heat start it all simmering and add the pears.

Poach the pears, uncovered, for until they turn tender. Don't let them get super soft. If you need to cover it for a bit to get the tops done, please do.

When they are done move the pears onto a serving plate. Get the leftover liquid rolling and add the sugar.

Let it boil until it all reduces by half in volume, more if you want it thicker.

Set the pears on individual serving plates and drizzle with the wine syrup, leaving a nice pool at the base.

Check out Ginger's blog, 365 Days of Cooking With Alcohol

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Not a "Typical" Day of Work

Date: Fri, May 21, 2010 Winery Blogs

When Itell peopleI work at a winery, theypicture all of us employees sitting around tastingcopious amounts of wine and being jolly.That couldn't actually be further from the truth, except yesterday.
Tenof us gathered together in the Founders' Room for an afternoon of blind tasting through 15 of our upcoming 2008releases and clones. In the mix were 3 other high-end Oregon Pinot Noirs for comparision and to throw us off (however, we were not fooled!).

We went through the tasting method- sight, smell, taste, conclusion...

With our aroma and flavor wheels...

Wrote out the tasting notes that will be on the fact sheets and back labels of each of the wines...

Discussed food pairings...

And laughed and and enjoyed ourselves throughout the whole process! Isn't that the purpose of wine?

If only everyday was like yesterday!

The conclusion of the tasting was that our 2008 releases are some of the best wines we've ever made (thanks to Forrest, Don, Daniel and the rest of the winemaking crew) and we cannot wait to share them with everyone. Look for our awesome tasting notes on those back labels too :)

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